About Stewart Goldie-Morrison
For the last 40 years I have worked in many industries including construction, finance, motorcycles and the third sector. I have always had an interest in woodwork and "discovered" green woodworking about 10 years ago. A number of years ago I realised that I wanted to spend my days in the countryside, using our native tree species to craft beautiful and useful objects. I have always loved chairs and this seemed to me to be a perfect way to spend my time. Green woodworking is a traditional skill that is practiced in complete harmony with our beautiful English countryside, using sustainably grown timber to create objects that enhances our lives. To use one's hands to fashion a chair out of newly felled timber in peace and quiet, unsullied by the noise of machinery, is a truly fulfilling and worthwhile pastime.
About Green Woodworking
My chairs are hand crafted in the village of Cretingham in the beautiful Suffolk countryside, using traditional hand tools and techniques, from locally sourced coppiced ash. The ash is worked in its unseasoned state and therefore has a higher moisture content than seasoned or kiln dried wood. The philosophy behind green wood chair making is to work with the grain of the wood, utilising its natural strength, and to use the drying process to increase the strength of the final product.
If the grain is continuous through a piece of wood its strength is much greater than a piece that has been cut across the grain. The greater strength allows lighter components to be used. My chair are light, strong and flexible, in marked contrast to Windsor chairs.
I use no glues or fixings in the joints. The drying process causes the wood to shrink along the grain, resulting in an oval shape. The tenons are pushed into mortices that are effectively too small for them, resulting in a very tight fit requiring no glue.
The whole process can be achieved without the need for anything other than traditional hand tools, muscle power and copious quantities of tea!